Austinmer Headland

Little Austi is the second beach at Austinmer, located to the north of the main beach. At its northern limit is a tall headland, surrounded by and extensive rock platform.

DSC01421

On top of this Headland is the Headlands Hotel, scene of the 2005/2006 Australian TV series called, strangely enough, headLand. This was taken in 2010, so it may have changed since then.

DSC01355

The headland rises towards the sea to form a high cliff face, with a steep drop to the rock platform below. Its a dangerous area as this sad memorial testifies.

DSC01343

At the base of the cliff is a flat, wide, rock platform, criss-crossed with lines in the rock. Here is a man collecting shellfish or bait.

DSC01336

This image shows the triangular pattern in the rock platform.

DSC01351

Water rushes in and out of this opening in the rocks. Its best to keep away from the edge of this type of rock platform as freak waves can catch you unawares.

DSC01358_2

Standing on the rock platform, the cliff face reveals the geology of this area, which includes and abundance of coal.

DSC01375_2

On a nearby rock platform, a keen rock fisherman prepares his kit.

DSC01419

Some images from the Austinmer holiday have been selected for greeting cards available in the ImageChest Etsy Store.



Austimer Escape

In the winter of 2010 I spent a week in Austinmer on the Illawarra Coast. It was my first holiday in over a year. Since contracting pneumonia in early 2009 I had been struggling to recover my health from post-pneumonia fatigue. I faced the 1 hour train journey south from home in Sydney with trepidation. This small beachside town in the Illawarra Region, nestled between the Illawarra Escarpment and the Pacific Ocean, seemed a world away. I arrived by train at the bustling unmanned railway station.

DSC01153

I found safe haven at the cosy and comfortable Sur La Mer Bed and Breakfast. It had everything I needed and I could have quite comfortably lived there on a permanent basis.

DSC01144

DSC01107

To the north of the railway line, a winding road climbs up into the foothills of the mountains. I walked up here to a lovely art gallery and artists studio.

DSC01152

Its not a big place, but there are some lovely cafes and specialty shops to explore, such as Mala Beads.

DSC01159

I decided to extend my stay, but needed to change accommodation. The Austinmer Beach Cottages gave me an excellent view of the escarpment. Where Sur La Mer had been safe and cosy, this place was open and expansive. This transition seemed to reflect my growing confidence that I was well enough to be back in the world.

DSC01166

DSC01206

The escarpment looms high over the town so that when the sun moves westward in the middle of the afternoon, the whole town is in shadow. I looked longingly to where the sun was still shining on the other of the mountains.

DSC01291_2

Its Austinmer Beach that draws people to the town. The slow paced life on a thin strip of coast between two big cities, Sydney and Wollongong.

DSC01424

But its the rock platforms that have always drawn my attention.

DSC01432

Something happened in Austinmer. I made the switch from seeing myself as a convalescent, to believing I was well enough to get on with my life. I did a lot of walking, writing and photography. Within a few months I was exploring England.

I have selected some images from the Austinmer holiday to be the subject of greeting cards available in the ImageChest Etsy Store.